Ted Binion’s controversial death revisited on ‘Dateline’

Ted Binion was killed in 1998. But his criminal case may never die.

“Dateline NBC” reviewed Binion’s controversial death on “What Happened In Vegas” on Friday. The episode is posted on NBC.com, under the “Dateline” tab.

The series claims to uncover new information about Binion’s death on September 17, 1998.

A statement from the network teases: “A chance encounter on the Pacific Coast Highway with a woman he first spoke to in a jail cell leads ‘Dateline’ Keith Morrison to reexamine the mysterious death of the Las Vegas casino mogul. Vegas Ted Binion. Friday’s new broadcast features never-before-seen footage of interviews with insiders familiar with the case.

Binion’s ex-girlfriend Sandy Murphy, former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman and investigator Wayne Petersen were among those recently interviewed for the series.

Binion, the son of gambling giant and Horseshoe founder Benny Binion, was found dead on a mattress at his Las Vegas estate on Palomio Lane. Used pill bottles and drug paraphernalia were found near his body. The cause and circumstances of his death are believed to be a combination of Xanax and heroin. Traces of Valium were also found in his system.

Murphy and her then-boyfriend, Rick Tabish, were initially convicted of murder and burglary in Binion’s death, but were later granted a new trial and acquitted of the murder charges. Prosecutors had argued the two conspired to steal Binion’s vast wealth, in the form of $7 million to $14 million in cash, cash and Horseshoe Casino chips, which were buried on land owned by Binion in Pahrump . Tabish owned the trucking company that transported the money to the underground vault.

In April 2019, Nye County deputies arrested a man for attempting to dig up any buried treasure Binion may have left at his Pahrump property.

In a preview clip, Murphy says, “He liked to bury things and do things that the quirky old-school Las Vegas cowboys do.” She also tearfully adds, “I don’t think anyone can understand what it’s like to find someone you love, not knowing if they’re dead or alive.”

Goodman had known Ted Binion well over the years and had also become close to Murphy.

“Teddy was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, street smart, well-read with opinions on everything,” Goodman said. At the time a defense attorney, Goodman escorted Murphy to Binion’s funeral.

“It was to the chagrin of a lot of people,” said Goodman, who added that he gave no opinion on the case in his conversation with Morrison. “They asked me what I thought of the people involved in the case, and I told them,” Goodman said. “Losing Teddy was a terrible loss, and I always thought Sandy was very nice.”

In the episode, Morrison says of the case, “It’s a crazy story that never really worked out, until, maybe, now.”

“Pod Kats!” John Katsilometes podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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